Thursday, July 7, 2022

Elon Musk says Twitter deal is ‘on hold’ after spam/fake account report

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Elon Musk says his deal to buy Twitter has been “temporarily put on hold” after the social network reported that fake or spam accounts made up less than 5 percent of its 226 million monetized daily active users. Tesla CEO, who offered to buy Twitter for $44 billion, tweeted a link to a Reuters report on Twitter’s request, saying he wants to see the company’s calculations.

“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details to support calculation that spam/fake accounts indeed represent less than 5% of users,” Musk tweeted.

Below is the relevant section of Twitter’s application. It notes that its calculations on the number of fake or spam accounts are an “estimation” and that the actual number “may be higher than we’ve estimated”:

We conducted an internal assessment of a sample of accounts and estimated that the mean of fake or spam accounts in Q1 2022 represented less than 5% of our mDAU during the quarter. The fake or spam accounts for a period represent the average of fake or spam accounts in the samples during each monthly analysis period during the quarter. We applied significant judgment in making this decision, so our estimate of fake or spam accounts may not accurately reflect the true number of such accounts, and the true number of fake or spam accounts may be higher than we estimate .

Twitter has had problems with math in the past. A few weeks ago, it said in a revenue report that it had overestimated its daily users for three years. The company said a technical error had resulted in multiple accounts being counted as active despite being linked to a single user, causing it to miscount its user numbers by as much as 1.9 million per quarter.

Musk has made reducing the number of “spam and scam bots” and “bot armies” on Twitter a key part of his plea for improving the service, in addition to prioritizing free speech and open sourcing its ranking algorithms. platform.

Putting the deal on hold marks the last time Musk has attempted to take over the social media network. At the time of writing, Twitter’s stock price was down 19 percent on the news. The company had initially announced a so-called ‘poison pill’ measure to prevent the takeover, only to accept the buyout at the end of April.


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